Are HR managers responsible for onboarding new recruits?

Alister Esam
Nov 2023

Are HR managers responsible for onboarding new recruits?” This question isn’t merely rhetorical; it’s a genuine conundrum faced by businesses. Clarifying roles in the onboarding process is vital for organisational health—it’s the antidote to ambiguity, reducing mistakes, and fostering employee satisfaction. Imagine starting a complex board game with unclear rules; it’s a one-way ticket to chaos. Fortunately, beSlick offers an elegant solution to this complex challenge. Its approach simplifies the onboarding process, ensuring it’s as streamlined as an assembly line but with the finesse of a ballet.

What is the Role of Managers in Onboarding New Hires?

When it comes to onboarding new hires, managers are not just bystanders; they’re the linchpins holding the wheel together. Managers play a critical role in introducing newcomers to team dynamics, organisational culture, and specific job functions. While HR lays the foundational tracks, managers drive the train, ensuring it reaches its destination without derailing. Through careful guidance and targeted training, managers can significantly reduce mistakes and fast-track the integration of new employees into the workforce. 

Managers often serve as the primary point of contact for new employees, acting as both mentor and guide. From scheduling initial training sessions to assigning mentors, they handle a plethora of tasks designed to help newcomers hit the ground running. Managers are responsible for delineating roles within the team, setting performance expectations, and providing the resources necessary for success.

Moreover, managers play a key role in fostering a sense of belonging. They introduce new hires to team members, include them in meetings, and involve them in projects, helping them feel like a part of the community from day one. In doing so, they pave the way for more effective and rapid employee training.

Effective managers also have their fingers on the pulse of the team’s morale and performance. By closely monitoring new hires, they can identify any hiccups or bottlenecks in the process, making adjustments as needed. This oversight ensures fewer mistakes and creates a smoother transition for everyone involved.

Who Creates the Onboarding Process?

When it comes to crafting a comprehensive onboarding process, HR usually takes the helm. As the principal architects, they outline the foundational structure that helps new employees assimilate into the company culture. Yet, the most effective onboarding processes extend beyond the HR department. Department heads, team leaders, and even C-suite executives often have a hand in shaping the onboarding strategy. By ensuring that the onboarding plan aligns with broader organisational goals, these multiple contributors enrich the experience for new hires.

For example, a marketing team might require additional training modules focused on the latest industry trends, while a technical team might emphasise coding best practices. In healthcare settings, new hires might be introduced to specific medical protocols, and in manufacturing, a focus might be placed on safety guidelines.

To manage this multifaceted approach, companies often turn to platforms like beSlick. With features like process documentation and workflow execution, beSlick allows for centralised contributions from various departments without unsettling the foundational structure that HR establishes. The platform’s capabilities also include capturing deviations in the process, providing invaluable data for future improvements. This harmonious blend of structure and flexibility minimises errors and allows for more streamlined changes, contributing to an agile, responsive organisation.

Is Onboarding Considered HR?

Is onboarding considered an HR job? The straightforward answer is yes, but with a caveat: it’s not confined to HR. While Human Resources often spearheads the initial onboarding procedures, successful assimilation of new employees into the company culture requires a concerted effort from multiple departments. Think of HR as the guide, paving the way for various organisational units to contribute their specialised knowledge to the onboarding process.

For instance, the IT department might introduce new hires to internal systems and software, while the finance team could brief them on expense policies. Training sessions for specific job roles might even be conducted by senior colleagues or external consultants.

Here, beSlick’s suite of features shines by offering a unified platform for process documentation and workflow execution. By ensuring each task is assigned and completed in a coherent and traceable manner, beSlick adds a layer of visibility and accountability to the entire onboarding operation. This methodical approach not only minimises errors but also speeds up the adaptation to changes, which ultimately benefits the entire organisation.

What is the role of HR in ‘onboarding process’?

Who Should Conduct the Onboarding?

Who should conduct the onboarding? This question doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all answer. While HR is often the initiator, successful onboarding is a collective undertaking that stretches across departments. Managers take the baton from HR, diving deep into specific projects, timelines, and expectations. Teammates also jump in, providing firsthand insights into daily operations and team dynamics. In some innovative organizations, customers or key stakeholders even get involved in special sessions, offering unique perspectives to enrich the new hire’s understanding of the business ecosystem.

In addition, each department might have its own tailored onboarding guidelines. For instance, the marketing team may emphasize brand voice and social media strategy, whereas the IT department would focus on system configurations and cybersecurity protocols.


In the complex tapestry of onboarding, it’s clear that HR managers don’t walk this path alone. From department managers to team members and sometimes even customers, the process is a team sport. Understanding who is responsible for what can remove bottlenecks and improve the flow, ultimately setting the stage for less mistakes and more visibility into each employee’s journey. If you’ve been grappling with questions like “Who creates the onboarding process?” or “Is onboarding considered an HR job?”, it’s time to embrace a more holistic approach.

For more insights into effective employee onboarding, check out our free onboarding template that will walk you through each step of the process.

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, Author of The Dirty Word and CEO at beSlick

Alister Esam is a successful entrepreneur and investor, having bootstrapped his fintech software business eShare to international status operating in over 40 countries and servicing 20,000 board directors, before successfully exiting to a multibillion-dollar organisation in 2018. He now invests in a variety of startups and on a global mission to make work, work.